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Know Your Candidates

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    With 6 months to go before the general election, I think it's time to take a closer look at the potential presidential candidates that I might vote for:


    Jill Stein

    http://www.jillstein.org/bio

    "Dr. Jill Stein is a mother, housewife, physician, longtime teacher of internal medicine, and pioneering environmental-health advocate.

    She is the co-author of two widely-praised reports,  In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, published in 2000, andEnvironmental Threats to Healthy Aging, published in 2009.  The first of these  has been translated into four languages and is used worldwide. The reports promote green local economies, sustainable agriculture, clean power, and freedom from toxic threats.

    Her "Healthy People, Healthy Planet" teaching program reveals the links between human health, climate security, and green economic revitalization. This body of work has been presented at government, public health and medical conferences, and has been used to improve public policy.

    Jill began to advocate for the environment as a human health issue in 1998 when she realized that politicians were simply not acting to protect children from the toxic threats emerging from current science. She offered her services to parents, teachers, community groups and a native Americans group seeking to protect their communities from toxic exposure.

    Jill has testified before numerous legislative panels as well as local and state governmental bodies. She played a key role in the effort to get the Massachusetts fish advisories updated to better protect women and children from mercury contamination, which can contribute to learning disabilities and attention deficits in children. She also helped lead the successful campaign to clean up the "Filthy Five" coal plants in Massachusetts, an effort that resulted in getting coal plant regulations signed into law that were the most protective around at that time. Her testimony on the effects of mercury and dioxin contamination from the burning of waste helped preserve the Massachusetts moratorium on new trash incinerator construction in the state.

    Jill has appeared as an environmental health expert on the Today Show, 20/20, Fox News, and other programs. She was also a member of the national and Massachusetts boards of directors of the Physicians for Social Responsibility. Her efforts to protect public health has won her several awards including: Clean Water Action's "Not in Anyone's Backyard" Award, the Children's Health Hero" Award, and the Toxic Action Center's Citizen Award. 

    Having witnessed the ability of big money to stop health protective policies on Beacon Hill, Jill became an advocate for campaign finance reform, and worked to help pass the Clean Election Law. This law was approved by the voters by a 2-1 margin, but was later repealed by the Massachusetts Legislature on an unrecorded voice vote.

    In 2002 ADD activists in the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party approached Dr. Stein and asked her to run for Governor of Massachusetts. Dr. Stein accepted, and began her first foray into electoral politics. She was widely credited with being the best informed and most credible candidate in the race.

    She has twice been elected to town meeting in Lexington, Massachusetts. She is the founder and past co-chair of a local recycling committee appointed by the Lexington Board of Selectmen.

    In 2003, Jill co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, a non-profit organization that addresses a variety of issues that are important to the health and well-being of Massachusetts communities, including health care, local green economies, and grassroots democracy.

    Jill represented the Green-Rainbow Party in two additional races – one for State Representative in 2004 and one for Secretary of State in 2006. In 2006 she won the votes of over 350,000 Massachusetts citizens – which represented the greatest vote total ever for a Green-Rainbow candidate.

    In 2008, Jill helped formulate a "Secure Green Future" ballot initiative that called upon legislators to accelerate efforts to move the Massachusetts economy to renewable energy and make development of green jobs a priority. The measure won over 81 per cent of the vote in the 11 districts in which it was on the ballot.

    Jill was born in Chicago and raised in suburban Highland Park, Illinois. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973, and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. Jill enjoys writing and performing music, and enjoys long walks with her Great Dane, Bandita. Dr. Stein lives in Lexington with her husband, Richard Rohrer, also a physician. She has two sons, Ben and Noah, who have graduated from college in the past few years."


    Roseanne Barr

    http://www.roseanneforpresident2012.org/

    "This is an exciting time for us to vote our values! Roseanne Barr is a mother, grandmother, activist, leader, feminist, and successful business woman that is addressing the concerns of the 99%. She is the lone voice of courage and reason who is unstoppable as she holds corporate-funded politicians feet to the fire.

    Roseanne Barr has the support of:

        Green Party Black Caucus
        NORML
        Cindy Sheehan
        Cynthia McKinney

    'I am 100% committed to seeking Green Party 2012 presidential nomination and look forward to competing for the nomination while promoting the values and ideals of the Green Party to our fellow Americans.' — Roseanne Barr"


    Kent Mesplay

    http://mesplay.org/node/3

    "Dr. Kent believes that sustainability is security: Especially with instability in climate, it is important to enact policies and behaviors encouraging less consumption, promoting local, independence-enhancing solutions and affording people of all levels of training and education to have basic economic well-being. With good governance and some basic changes to our lifestyle, citizens can have a meaningful place within a people-oriented culture where all can feel valued, with their basic needs met, unhampered by bureaucratic bungling.

    In short, we need good governance, we need Green values and we need to get the influence of money out of politics. And we certainly need to cut bloated Pentagon spending and waste and enact an independent, trusted system to audit military spending. See, for example, www.notmypriorities.org.

    In more detail: On social issues Mesplay

        is a Civil Libertarian: He believes each individual should be allowed, by the government and society, to decide how to live their lives as they wish as long as those decisions do not negatively affect others;
        supports abortion rights -- a woman's right to choose;
        supports same-sex marriage;
        wants to end the "war" on drugs;
        supports reparations for African Americans and wants to end all racial discrimination;
        and holds other "progressive" views typical of the Green Party Platform.

    He advocates for personal responsibility,

        taking America off our addiction to prescription and recreational drugs through education and programs designed to heal;
        enacting prison reform in an age when prisons are barbaric and increasingly for-profit;
        ensuring that our military is not misused as, in effect, a mercenary force for corporate interests;
        taking better care of our elderly, our disabled and our veterans;
        getting the corruptive influence of money out of political decision-making;
        ending corporate person-hood;
        creating a basic societal foundation encouraging self-reliance and community and discouraging a culture of dependency on corporations or government;
        pooling our resources efficiently to meet basic needs through volunteerism, sharing, philanthropy and legislation;
        respecting tribal sovereignty and the rights of existence of tribal people and cultures;
        and generally being more conscientious, thoughtful, deliberative and kind in our generation of public policy.

    He supports and encourages vegetarianism, and has been vegetarian for up to three years. He is currently an omnivore, but with most meat(s) cut out of his diet. He also respects those on raw food diets, having studied and lived some of that, himself. Eating lightly and lower on the food chain promotes environmental health through wise resource allocation, lessening our impact on the planet."


    Harley Mikkelson

    http://harleymikkelson.com/

    "President Obama has not brought about the change I was hoping for and the Republicans running for President do not advocate changes I favor.  Therefore, I have decided to seek the Green Party of the United States Presidential Nomination.

    I was a member of the working class for all the years I was employed .  It is the working class perspective I hope to bring to this race.  I do not want the Green Party to be the party of a small group of left wing  intellectuals.  I want to represent people who shop at Walmart as well as Macy's.  I want to represent working people such as teachers, factory workers, farmers, government employees, health care workers,  etc...

    There are many problems facing our country and to solve them will require some sacrifices from most of us.  Yes, we need to tax people who earn more than $250.000 a year more and people earning more than a million even more.  We may even need to ask people who are earning less than $50,000 a year to pay some additional taxes.  This extra tax revenue is needed to provide jobs, educational opportunities, and health care.

    The Green Party needs to present Green alternatives to the policies of the Republicans and Democrats in power.  I hope to do this."



    Currently, Jill Stein is leading the delegate count, but Roseanne Barr has strong support from the party base, while Kent is pretty much out and Mikkelson has all but conceded. Personally, I think that Dr. Stein would be the strongest candidate, but she will need Ms. Barr's support, although I doubt that there will be any problem arranging that.

    Certainly, I will vote for any of them before I vote for a conservative, Republican or Democrat.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    If you are a truly progressives activist these are difficult times, and you have to ask yourself some hard questions.

    Should you vote for a third party or Independent candidate instead of Obama? And if you did, what if not voting for Obama made it possible for Romney to win?

    I would like to have easier choices, not fraught with such risk.

    I believe in the message of one who says that partisan party politics will become obsolete, because it creates and perpetuates conflict and division, constantly polarizing the people. And he says that a nation divided, like a house divided, cannot stand.

    He says the presidential form of monarchy will also become obsolete, so that we can finally establish government that is actually of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    He says we ought to have absolutely equal opportunity and free choice to name or nominate, by write-in ballot, six men and six women to serve on an Executive Council that would govern the executive branch of government.

    He suggests that we, the people, can bring about a reformation by utilizing the tools the Founding Fathers provided in Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution, realizing that one day we would have to alter and reform our government because it no longer serves our interests.

    The blueprint and rationale for it is in The 21st Century Declaration of Independence, and Real Democracy Is Coming to the U.S.A.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    If only there WERE a viable third candidate, one with a realistic chance of winning.

    Alas, there is not.

    The American voter will once again have to select the least lousy candidate, of two very lousy candidates, to cast their votes for.

    If only...
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    fenway Wrote: If only there WERE a viable third candidate, one with a realistic chance of winning.

    Alas, there is not.

    The American voter will once again have to select the least lousy candidate, of two very lousy candidates, to cast their votes for.

    If only...


    Well, how do you expect to ever get a viable 3rd-party candidate with that attitude?

    I'm sorry, but I don't see enough of a difference between Obama and Romney that would make me vote for either one, and I have this thing about being against war crimes and gross violations of U.S. and international law, so I can't vote for Obama.

    Would you rather I vote for Romney, because he is "viable"?
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    Guy:



    Oddly enough, I found something to agree with on all of the posts so far on this topic.

    Codejack's third party candidates were intriguing, but I agree with you that voting for a viable third party candidate carriers a certain amount of risk. In his latest book, Thomas Friedman lists the advantages of inserting a third party candidate into the process, but the idea still makes me nervous.

    http://www.amazon.com/That-Used-Be-Us-Invented/dp/0374288909

    There HAVE been times in the past that I voted for the lesser of two evils, as femway mentions.
    Since I really wasn't that inspired by either John Kerry or Al Gore, I made the mistake of voting for George W. Bush  - twice. This time around,though, it's my opinion that Barack Obama is clearly the better choice. On top of that, there are WAY too many Republicans in power today, and it's time to throw the rascals out.

    I skimmed through both of the links that you mentioned, and found a lot of ideas that I agree with.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    that guy in Arizona Wrote: Guy:

    Oddly enough, I found something to agree with on all of the posts so far on this topic.

    Codejack's third party candidates were intriguing, but I agree with you that voting for a viable third party candidate carriers a certain amount of risk. In his latest book, Thomas Friedman lists the advantages of inserting a third party candidate into the process, but the idea still makes me nervous.

    http://www.amazon.com/That-Used-Be-Us-Invented/dp/0374288909

    There HAVE been times in the past that I voted for the lesser of two evils, as femway mentions.
    Since I really wasn't that inspired by either John Kerry or Al Gore, I made the mistake of voting for George W. Bush  - twice. This time around,though, it's my opinion that Barack Obama is clearly the better choice. On top of that, there are WAY too many Republicans in power today, and it's time to throw the rascals out.

    I skimmed through both of the links that you mentioned, and found a lot of ideas that I agree with.


    Thanks. I appreciate that.

    As you know there are many conflicting opinions about this issue, because some progressives insist that we should vote for a third party candidate come what may, some insist that we should vote for a Democrat as the "lesser of two evils," while still others like David Swanson are very much against "lesser-evilism."

    Personally, I am going to vote for Obama as the lesser of the two major evils (Democrats and Republicans, or "Republicrats").

    BUT, at the same time I am going to follow the advice suggested by The People's Campaign for Reformation and also write in "People's Reformation" to register my support for The 21st Century Declaration of Independence.

    Regarding that book link you provided, I agree with the conclusions of why America has fallen behind and is in fact still falling because we have allowed American corporations to operate at the expense of the majority of the people, the infrastructure and the environment. However, I do not agree with its conclusion of how we can save ourselves. As I see it, we the people have to bring about a comprehensive reformation of government by utilizing Article 5 of the Constitution. And we have to press for a new reformation of religion as well, so that all religions restore themselves and reestablish their true purpose and role.
    .
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Code,

    "Would you rather I vote for Romney...?"

    You vote for whoever you think will do the best for the country, THAT would be my best advice.

    I won't make up my mind until we get closer to the election.  Between now and then lots of things will happen which could influence my decision.

    Obama and Romney are the only two "viable" candidates...and that's unfortunate.  If there were a third party candidate with any kind of realistic chance, even a long shot, I'd very much consider voting for him/her.

    As it stands, I'll hold my nose and vote for one of the two losers that have a chance of being elected.

    We already know that Obama is a lousy president, in November we have to decide if Romney would be worse.

    I have very little confidence in either of them.
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    I agree with every one of you...we have a less than stellar cast for the White House this time around.But,we all have to come to grips with the reality that this is what the two political machines pump out now days.Casting a protest vote for a third party candidate that has as much chance of winning as I do,isn't the answer.The answer lies in opening the races in the primaries to more "real"people and not having an impeccable political background as the only vetting process.The long term answer lies in a complete overhaul of the two party system...failing that,a complete overhaul of the two major parties.
      None of which will do us any good this November.The races that WILL decide the direction the country will take lie in the congressional races.If the nation hands the House and Senate to the Re-Pubs...we for all practical purposes,hand the country over to the top wealth holders in the country,and allow big banks and corporations to do as they please,no holds barred.
      It does none of us any good to bemoan the fact that we don't have a Roosevelt or Lincoln running this time.That kind of leadership is rarely on the ballot.That type comes along once every two or three generations.So,as we say in poker,you play the hand you're dealt as well as you can play it,and hope hope the river don't kill you.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    fenway Wrote:
    If there were a third party candidate with any kind of realistic chance, even a long shot, I'd very much consider voting for him/her.


    OK, I see two problems here:

    1. There won't ever be a viable third-party candidate until people start voting for them.

    2. If the decision between Obama and Romney is a distinction without a difference, as we all seem to concede, who cares which one of them wins?


    You have simply dressed up the "throwing your vote away" argument, but if your vote can't possibly matter, anyway, then everyone is throwing away their votes.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Codejack Wrote:
    fenway Wrote:
    If there were a third party candidate with any kind of realistic chance, even a long shot, I'd very much consider voting for him/her.


    OK, I see two problems here:

    1. There won't ever be a viable third-party candidate until people start voting for them.

    2. If the decision between Obama and Romney is a distinction without a difference, as we all seem to concede, who cares which one of them wins?


    You have simply dressed up the "throwing your vote away" argument, but if your vote can't possibly matter, anyway, then everyone is throwing away their votes.

      No one is throwing away votes.Maybe one or two votes don't have a huge impact on the presidential stage...but they will on the congressional stage.And right now,circumstances dictate,that's where our fight is.
      I believe in the near future,we will see the rise of a viable third and possibly a fourth party.National parties.This is not a fantasy.The main national parties speak for such a small percentage of the total electorate,a third and even a fourth,I don't consider if,I think it's down to WHEN.And yes,viable(read:electable) candidates are a necessity.But we have freedom loving people who would step into the breech and lead...but we,the electorate has to demand it!And we do that,by grassroots activism.By challenging the "party rules" that lock out of office 99.9% of the population.Rules are not Constitutional Amendments...they are just self-serving rules.And with the proper pressure applied,rules can and will be changed.Just don't give up hope! As Donald Sutherland said in The Hunger Games..."Hope is the only emotion stronger than fear"And we still have HOPE!
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    "I see two problems here:"

    I see two problems also.  The two problems that I see are (in alphabetical order) the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.  Both spend much more time, money, and effort trying to beat the other party and gain/maintain power than in serving the American people.

    And why do they want to gain/maintain power?  Three answers:  MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.  Sure, there are others reasons, too, but if you were to list the top 10 reasons, the first 3 would be MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

    Power equals MONEY, and MONEY makes the world go around. 

    "voting for them"

    I HAVE voted for them.  If it is apparent that one candidate or the other is going to win my state handily, then I'll cast my vote for a third party candidate if I like them more than the two "viable" losers. 

    If the race is in doubt in my state, then I'll hold my nose and vote for the "viable" candidate that is the lessor of two evils.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    fenway Wrote: If it is apparent that one candidate or the other is going to win my state handily, then I'll cast my vote for a third party candidate if I like them more than the two "viable" losers. 

    If the race is in doubt in my state, then I'll hold my nose and vote for the "viable" candidate that is the lessor of two evils.


    That was my working theory if Santorum had won the GOP nomination; I would have voted to send a clear message against his kind of radical ideology.

    But Romney was the decidedly moderate pick, and he's even to the left of Obama on some issues. I would never vote for him because he is at least somewhat beholden to the same right-wing fringists that Santorum represents, but a Romney victory after the implied rejection of the religious right would seriously reduce their political influence.

    Partisan test: Do you prefer the GOP to reject fringe viewpoints and thus improve their electoral chances, or do you prefer that they continue to alienate themselves from the mainstream by embracing radical ideology?
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    "beholden to the same right-wing fringists"

    You mean like Obama is beholden to the left-wing fringists?

    Because they are ALL beholden/OWNED by someone.

    I have no more control over whether the GOP continues to "alienate themselves" from the mainstream, any more than I have control over the Dems to do the same.  I wish extremists/fringists of BOTH parties would tone it down.  Plenty of "radical ideology" on both sides.

    All things in moderation. 

    Romney no more represents everyone in the Republican Party anymore than Obama represents everyone in the Democratic Party.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    fenway Wrote:
    You mean like Obama is beholden to the left-wing</b? fringists?




    He's WHAT?!

    In case you've missed it, Obama has been an extremely conservative president.

    What on Earth has Obama done to be considered "left-wing"?
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    "conservative president"

    Maybe by YOUR standards.

    Increased the size of gubmint.  Obamacare.  More people living off gubmint handouts.  Obamacare.  Increased the nations debt by 5 trillion after he said he'd cut the deficit.  Obamacare.  Cut back on oil production on federal lands/waters.  Obamacare.

    To mention just a few...

    Remember the starry-eyed days right after the election when there was "Hope and Change"?  Everything was going to be just wonderful.  Obama had the presidency, the House, and the Senate.  He had all the power and he was going to fix everything! 

    We quickly found out that he's just a "typical politician". 

    Would Romney be worse?

    THAT'S what we have to decide.